Summer is just around the corner, but for our Director of Education, May becomes a two-part life. As Kimberly is filling the role of educator for Marine CSI, continuing to go into schools and teach our Watershed Walkabout: Cape Fear program, she's also getting started with sea turtle nesting season on Pleasure Island.
For those in NC, our sea turtle nesting season begins officially on May first, but Kimberly's work actually begins in April, with volunteer orientation. Once oriented to the updates from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, as well as those from the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project, she's getting her car geared up for school programs and turtle nesting simultaneously.
Typical outreach program gear could consist of a canvas bag with laminated data sheets for students, color photos of species, and various supplies for a hands-on activity or craft (stuffed animals, small bins, seashells and fossils, etc.). Or it could be buckets, "fake sand," and craft sticks. The only thing she needs a classroom to provide is a water source and an enthusiastic set of students.
This year, Kimberly has the honor of being a morning patroller, where her day begins with sunrise on the beach, searching for female turtle tracks and hopefully a sea turtle nest. In the past, she's been called to identify and relocate nests as a nest team leader, but this summer, she'll be more in charge than she's even been before, hoping to utilize her classroom management style to assist with a group of over 200 volunteers.
This will prepare her for her biggest role next summer as a permit holder for the Carolina Beach portion of the Project. Coupled with running her own business, it'll be a wonderful opportunity for her to multi-task and schedule her time during the transition between the school year and summer "vacation."